Over the weekend, former John McCain campaign strategist Steve Schmidt told "60 Minutes" something shocking about McCain’s former running mate, Sarah Palin. It seems that when Schmidt met Palin after McCain selected her, he was surprised that she was so calm. Schmidt apparently asked her how she could remain so tranquil in the face of such a monumental life change. She responded, "It’s God’s plan."
Naturally, the media went bonkers over this revelation. The New York Times approvingly reported comic Jimmy Fallon’s one-liner: "God responded: ‘What? Really? Don’t bring me into this.’" The Week asked whether Palin was "simply devout — or delusional?" The Nation suggested that Palin was "a little bit dimmer than we thought."
Nothing is quite as shocking to media establishment types as someone who actually believes that God takes an active part in individual human destinies. If you thought the media’s reaction to this was absurd, think what their reaction would have been if they had been around during the days of Moses. One can envision the headlines from local newspapers: "Exiled Prince Claims God Sent Him to Free Slaves: Advisers Say Moses’ Staff Flying at Half-Mast." (British newspapers would report it slightly differently: "Jewish Nut Job Invades Royal Palace On ‘God’s Mission’: Pharaoh Tells Him to go Jump in the Bloody Nile.")
The truth is that it is a common article of faith in virtually all major religions that God guides the footsteps of each and every human being. Benjamin Franklin, a not-so-religious theologian, said that the American Revolution could be successful only with the direct help of God. As he put it, "The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?"
Yet nowadays, it is considered trite to point to the influence of God in human lives — unless you are liberal. Then it is considered perfectly normal. How many athletes do we see who thank God after each touchdown? How many actors who win Oscars thank God?
Even certain beloved socialist presidents believe in divine intervention on a personal scale. For example, when then-Sen. Barack Obama gave an anti-war speech, Sen. Harry Reid approached him to congratulate him. "That speech was phenomenal, Barack," said Reid. Reid describes what happened next: "Without the barest hint of braggadocio or conceit, and with what I would describe as deep humility, he said quietly: ‘I have a gift, Harry.’"
It is worthwhile asking: a gift from whom? Gaia? Santa Claus? The Easter Bunny?
Clearly, even our atheistic President Obama — a man who avers that religious folk cling bitterly to their God because they’re poor and downtrodden — believes that occasionally, the Deity rests his hand on someone’s shoulder. Unfortunately, unlike Sarah Palin, Obama also believes that God’s presence is redundant to his own.
There’s a reason the media elites allow liberals to get away with God-talk. It’s because the media elites know that liberals aren’t particularly serious about their God-talk. Everyone could see Bill Clinton crossing his fingers behind his back when talking about God, just as everyone can see President Obama laughing behind his hand when he mentions religion.
It’s those benighted morons of the religious right who truly threaten the media elites. The right’s suggestion that God stands behind the vast flow of history scares the living daylights out of the liberal establishment because it threatens their own sense of control. After all, it is not God who made Barack Obama president of the United States — it is the editorial board of the New York Times. And it was not God who discarded Hillary Clinton like a used tissue — it was the brilliant men and women of the alphabet networks.
If the media elites are wrong — if God is indeed a driving factor in history — then things may not go as the media elites plan. Sarah Palin may indeed meet with success rather than media-ordained failure. The tea parties may indeed become a mainstream movement, rather than the fringe movement the media wishes them to be.
And that scares liberals. Because in the liberal view, no divine presence can be directing things. For the left, the only gods behind history are the gods of economics (see Thomas Friedman and Karl Marx), multiculturalism (see John Dewey), genes (see Richard Dawkins) and environment (see Al Gore and Jared Diamond).
Here’s a newsflash for liberals: Incredible as it may seem, Palin’s view represents that of the vast majority of mankind. People across the globe agree with Palin that their lives fit into God’s grand scheme. When liberals laugh at Palin on this score, they risk laughing at billions. And even liberals should understand that billions can impact the flow of history.